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Japan 'plans $2.5b military spending' in stimulus package

Published on Jan 9, 2013 9:14 AM
Members of the Japan Self-Defence Forces stand guard near Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) land-to-air missiles, deployed at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo.  Japan plans to spend US$2.1 billion (S$2.5 billion) on its military over the next few months, partly to purchase more of these missile systems, in the wake of deteriorating relations with China and North Korea. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan plans to spend US$2.1 billion (S$2.5 billion) on its military over the next few months as part of a huge stimulus package, a defence ministry official said on Wednesday, amid growing concerns over a rising China.

The cash is in addition to the regular military spending for 2012-2013 and is separate from a boosted budget request for next fiscal year that ruling party policymakers called for on Tuesday.

"We will request 180.5 billion yen (S$2.5 billion) to be allocated to military spending from a stimulus package," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP, adding that some of the cash will be used to buy PAC-3 surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile systems and modernise four F-15 fighter jets.

The request for funds has to be approved by the finance ministry before being officially included in the stimulus the government is set to announce later this month, reportedly worth 13.1 trillion yen for this fiscal year to March.

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